The flight with 120 passengers and eight crew members departed Guyana for Toronto, Canada just after 2 o’ clock this morning. However, less than thirty minutes into the flight, the pilot made contact with Guyana’s Air Traffic Control at the Cheddi Jagan Airport, seeking permission to return. Air traffic control was told that the airplane was encountering problems with the its hydraulics system.
In making the return and emergency landing, the plane overshot the recently extended runway and made its way through the perimeter fence, only coming to a stop when it encountered a heavy build up of sand, close to a ditch.
Emergency crews were immediately activated and were able to get all passengers and crew members safely off the plane.
Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson told reporters this morning that six injured passengers were were rushed to the Diamond Hospital on the East Bank of Demerara. The injuries were not life threatening.
The airport which was temporarily closed following the emergency landing, has now been reopened.
The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority is leading the investigations. Other international aviation authorities are expected to join the probe.
An emergency line has been established. Persons wanting to make contact with officials could do so by dialing +592-261-2281.
In a brief statement, Fly Jamaica Airways said it is assisting the passengers and crew and will support the investigation.
Minister Patterson said the one bright light in the tragedy is that the airport’s extended runway was able to accommodate the emergency landing, although it has not yet gone into operation.
He also noted that this morning’s incident took place close to where a similar incident occurred a few years ago with Caribbean Airlines.
- Countries: Guyana